Understanding the contribution Jeanne Paquin made to the modern fashion industry is paramount to understanding the nature of the business.
She was one of the firsts to become the biggest model, brand ambassador, and spokesperson for her own brand. She developed along with the expertise of her husband, a skilled business man and investor, the concept of establishing ateliers and points of sale boutiques in other major market cities to make her brand accessible to new clients that lived in these markets.
Finally, she made the ultimate choice to sell off her brand and company as she orchestrated a merger with the house of Worth causing her to retire in prosperity. This showed shrewdness and great business strategy, because not too long after the house of Worth was dissolved by it's parent company, the company that to this day owns and manages a cartel of luxury brands under it's one roof.
Be fearless and bold. Be the greatest proponent in promoting your brand or the personal brand that represents your persona. She was always visible in the spotlight wearing her latest visionary fashions. Fashions that pushed the envelope of her time and ended up being a decisive factor in moving fashion out of the dreaded Victorian age. That alone is probably the the single greatest accomplishment. Women everywhere can be eternally grateful not to have to daily wear a corset and hoop skirt!
2. Be culturally open and embracing.
When Jeanne developed her version of the kimono and introduced it to western culture it was a huge step toward inclusion and openness, merging and breaking down national and cultural barriers. It promoted inclusion rather than prejudice. It was fabulous and the earliest known east-meets-west fusion in couture fashion history. Many great fashion houses have built their brands around such concepts like Armani.
3. Be enterprising.
Be enterprising. Jeanne made a smart move by marrying a well known business man. She had a healthy instinct to find a partner that shared her vision and know-how. They complimented each other's skill set and made such an amazing team. Every right brain designer needs a left brain partner. He provided the funds and possessed the marketing genius to establish a couture house into an international fashion business that was very profitable. Transforming Jeanne's ideas and good business instincts into viable propositions. Happiness in a relationship is going in the same direction, not against one another or in competition with one another.
Jeanne had the notion of expanding her business into other markets instead of making her clients come to Paris to visit her. She laid the groundwork for the concept of excellence in customer service that would eventually transpire into the world of ready-made fashion.
She was unafraid to start small. She was enterprising and her thinking was not limited by her seemingly limited circumstances at the time.
She thought big and kept it simple. She was industrious and overall savvy. She abandoned her fears of being judged by her peers by becoming visible and attracting attention by wearing and modeling her fabulous designs. She was a possibilities thinker and didn't get bogged down in the opinions of small-minded people.
Finally, she didn't become a narcissist. She didn't become overly attached to her company so as to go down with the ship so to speak. She pinpointed a strategic exit plan and she went for it. This was after the death of her beloved husband and business partner. I think their romance was one of the greatest tokens to true love that the fashion business has provided, by the way. Anyways, she was ready to give it all up and retire a satisfied and wealthy lady. She trusted her instincts and it all paid off!
I think that the best description for such a powerhouse in the fashion world would be:
These are a few lessons we can glean from such a great and inspirational women. What are your thoughts on Jeanne Paquin? Share for the community and contribute to a lively discussion.